The Buddhist Tradition - The Dhammapada

2. Attention

Attention leads to immortality. Carelessness leads to death. Those who pay attention will not die, while the careless are as good as dead already. 21 

 So having clearly understood the value of attention, wise men take pleasure in it, rejoicing in what the saints have practised. 22 

 Those who meditate with perseverance, constantly working hard at it, are the wise who experience Nirvana, the ultimate freedom from chains. 23 

 When a man is resolute and recollected, pure of deed and persevering, when he is attentive and self-controlled and lives according to the Teaching, his reputation is bound to grow. 24 

 By resolution and attention, by discipline and self-control, a clever man may build himself an island that no flood can overthrow. 25 

 Foolish, ignorant people indulge in careless lives, whereas a clever man guards his attention as his most precious possession. 26 

 Don't indulge in careless behaviour. Don't be the friend of sensual pleasures. He who meditates attentively attains abundant joy. 27 

 When a wise man has carefully rid himself of carelessness and climbed the High Castle of Wisdom, sorrowless he observes sorrowing people, like a clear-sighted man on a mountain top looking down on the people with limited vision on the ground below. 28 

 Careful amidst the careless, amongst the sleeping wide-awake, the intelligent man leaves them all behind, like a race-horse does a mere hack. 29 

 It was by attention that Indra attained the highest place among the gods. People approve of attention, while carelessness is always condemned. 30 

 A bhikkhu taking pleasure in being attentive, and recognising the danger of carelessness, makes progress like a forest fire, consuming all obstacles large or small in his way. 31 

 A bhikkhu taking pleasure in being attentive, and recognising the danger of carelessness, is incapable of falling away. In fact he is already close to Nirvana. 32